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Green Building & Sustainable Development


Solar City Draws on Magnetic Input


Magnetic Island residents will receive an information package on the Solar City project in the next few months.

Mines and Energy Minister Geoff Wilson said residents would be asked to register their interest in being involved in the Solar City project.

"Solar City is an iconic project and it shows how communities can harness solar energy and be more energy-efficient in their daily lives," Mr Wilson said.

The Minister said the State Government had committed $5 million to help Ergon Energy and its partners develop the Townsville Solar City project - part of the Australian Government's national Solar Cities programme.

"This is a great example of how the commonwealth, states and the community can find common ground and deliver a far-sighted project," he said.

The programme is designed to demonstrate how solar power, smart meters, energy efficiency and new approaches to electricity pricing can combine to provide a sustainable energy future while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

While planning is underway to roll out the project, Ergon Energy is negotiating the Solar Cities Project funding agreement with the Australian Government's Greenhouse Office.

"Ergon Energy will focus on Magnetic Island which will become the 'Solar Suburb' within the Solar City."

"For the trial, 500 solar photovoltaic systems and 1700 smart meters will be installed and 1700 energy audits conducted on selected homes and State Government buildings on Magnetic Island," Mr Wilson said.

Member for Townsville, Mike Reynolds said that in the first stage of the project, Ergon Energy customers would be able to take part in a free energy audit.

"Over the next three years, all eligible residential and business customers will be offered a free, comprehensive, energy audit," Mr Reynolds said.

"The audit will identify instances where customers lose money through the inefficient use of electricity and it will recommend changes residents and businesses can make, to save money and electricity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," he said.

"With the owner's approval, the auditor will install, at no charge, basic energy-efficient devices such as compact fluorescent lamps and water-efficient showerheads."

The Minister said that over the period of the entire Solar City Project, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 50,000 tonnes - the same benefit as taking 1,700 cars off the road for the seven years.

As part of the Solar City Project similar measures will be implemented at Serene Valley and Riverway as well as a Townsville CBD commercial building.





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